The children are screaming upstairs, resisting bed time. The dog is jumping up on the counter trying to eat the scraps from dinner. Preacher hubby is at a meeting tonight. And I’m alone with the last ounce of dark chocolate in the house.
I’m scared to admit the truth. I can feel it. I hate to tell you here, because I should be reaching out for help. But, if I reach out for help then I’m admitting it’s back. Maybe if I just ignore it, ignore life, ignore true relationships, then it will go away. But I don’t think that will happen.
So why write?
Today is the first day of September as well the the first day of What’s on Your Mind [fall edition] ’09. Want to join in? Then tell us your why.
Originally, my writing began as an outreach of my speaking ministry. And although I do continue for that purpose, I have a greater reason today. Community. What I found in the blogging world was a beautiful community. This community doesn’t demand I show up just to show up. They require that I show up with content that is steeped in honesty.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthinas 1: 3-7 (The Message):
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.
By writing, I receive comfort from the Father of mercy. By reading, you receive encouragement that your wrongs will also be made right. We endure hard times together knowing that we will make it just as others before us have made it.
Tonight, as I close up my thoughts, the kids are quiet, the dog is sleeping, my hubby is still gone, but my heart is still. The Holy Spirit brought me peace through the Word and these words. My heart is thankful for the understanding. Yet I know more struggles are ahead. Good news – some of you will read this and call angry because I didn’t tell you that it was hovering. So, I’ll have a few days ahead to explain myself. And that’s OK with me. It’s all in the community!
Please join in with your post or write in the comment section. Blessings on your Tuesday!
Take a walk with me this week. Observe. See what strikes you. Find any words that excite you, write them down. Be prepared – carry a notepad in your purse or car. After a week of reflection we’ll post them next week for What’s on Your Mind.
Meanwhile, for tomorrow’s What’s on Your Mind post a picture and write. Be creative, fun, take a risk!
What are you doing this summer to soak in the SON? Taking walks, refreshing breaks, mini getaways? Please share so we can challenge each other to stay connected with our awesome God.
My worship team introduced this song to our congregation this weekend. It’s an amazing ballad that continues to ring through my mind. What songs moved you in worship this week?
We have a winner! Comment number 12 was chosen by random.org. Lucky number 12 is Kristen who commented on Wednesday’s post over at ExemplifyOnline.com. Kristen, find my email in your inbox or use the contact tab above to send me your address. Congratulations!
Ultimately, we’ve all won by voicing our true feelings on worry and bringing our honest hearts for healing to the Lord. Thank you ALL for participating.
Next Tuesday for What’s on Your Mind be ready to write about yourself (things that aren’t obvious) in the third person. Take a look at the sample post and her entries for examples. June is Just for Fun!
During the month of May Heart Reflections is following the sermon series “MythBusters” at Saint Paul. This week Pastor Kris (on the right) discussed if Christianity is anti-intellectual.
I understand why someone would think that Christians don’t have a brain. First of all, you can’t “think” your way to this faith. God always makes the first move. Secondly, there are many brain-less vocal Christians who make us all look really stupid! And finally, Paul states, The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
I did a search last night on biblegateway.com to discover what God desires for our mind. Here are some highlights:
O Lord, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised. Psalm 119:169 (NLT)
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. Colossians 4:2-3 (NLT)
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33 (NIV)
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:36-37 (NIV)
- God promises a discerning mind.
- God desires an alert mind and a thankful heart.
- God writes His law on our hearts and minds.
- God wants us to love Him with our mind.
These passages are just a few highlights of how the Bible instructs believers. We are to use our minds to glorify the Lord. It is up to us to devote the time and utilize this gift to its highest ability.
We see it every day. Kind people treated poorly. The elderly abused. Kids shot by stray bullets. Hearing these awful stories on the news is one thing, seeing it happen in person is another.
This weekend in church I stood in front of our congregation leading praise. Every eye I met held a story of struggle. But one family stood out. It was their first time back to church since the sudden death of a husband, a dad, a new grandfather. This man, a small group leader in our church, was just 55. An unknown blood clot formed in his body and stripped him of life. His family is struggling to survive. But they’re doing it together, step by step, tear by tear.
Have you searched the Bible lately for the word “why”? In the NIV there are over 500 hits of the word why!
Some of the first “whys” come from the whining Israelites. Their stories are so tender. But what I really enjoy is the interaction between God and his people. Here’s one conversation between Moses and The Lord.
Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” Exodus 5:22-23
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” Exodus 6:1
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God… (vs 6-7)
God seems to enjoy rescuing His people. But maybe even more importantly than saving His people, He wants to reveal Himself to us. Through each trial He gives us a little more than the time before.
Although these answers which God gave Moses may not feel like assurance for my friend’s loss… I do know that they are experiencing God in more ways than ever before. Would they prefer to have their husband, dad, grandpa back in their arms – absolutely. But, ultimately, we don’t have that choice. But we can choose to embrace today and draw close to the One who loves our soul.
How about you? What’s On Your Mind? Why do bad things happen to good people?
What is God whispering into your heart? Would you like to hear other bloggy friend’s thoughts on the same subject? Please go to What’s on Your Mind to offer new topics.
Our next What’s on Your Mind topic is writing without using BE verbs. Tomorrow, I will take a paragraph and point out all the BE verbs as an example.
Now, on to the laughs…
On Monday’s post, I promised that I would take a look at past pictures and decide which hair cut was the worst. So, I offer you these past school pictures. Please let me know which you think is the worst Dorthy Hamill haircut in the comment section below!
For more fun with pictures, visit We are THAT family.
If God is in control of all things, what is my role?
I was terrified this morning when my dog (that we recently adopted) ran across the street right in front of a moving car. Thankfully the car saw her and was coming to a stop anyway. I am also thankful that the driver kept her eyes on my dog as she darted back toward home – again - in front of the car!
My dog, Buttercup, was totally oblivious to the danger. In fact, when we got into the house she sat attentively right in front of the treats, asking me to reward her for her outdoor behavior! My initial instinct was to punish her. But, instead, I handed her a treat, thankful that she was safe.
I wonder how many times my day-to-day actions horrify my Father in heaven. Many of which, probably pass right by my mind without a second thought.
Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
My role as a follower of Christ is to continually seek God. To renew my soul through His life-giving Word. It’s a daily sacrifice of breaking my sinful nature, laying down my own agenda (even if just for a moment), and seek Him.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The truth is that God holds authority for ALL THINGS on His shoulders. Which includes my life – everything about me. Debbie asks readers “How does that truth help you today?” After my thankful reply I wrote, “I wonder… why do I allow myself to stray away, to not seek Him daily.” I mean, why wouldn’t I want to put my life in Jesus’ hands? Look at the 4 phrases listed in Isaiah 9:6.
- He is the best listener and gives perfect advise.
- He is mighty, strong, all powerful.
- He is always there and constant source of every need.
- God is just, and grants peace.
He is everything I need and more. God promises to work all things for good, Romans 8:28, even my mistakes.
Just as I have promised to care for my new adoptee in the house, I need to take time to seek MY owner. I must check in for my daily training and guidance. I will sit as His feet, in spirit and truth, learning to lean on Him and less of me.
Looking forward to hearing What’s on Your Mind! It’s YOUR turn. Post your thoughts on God and control and link it here. Also, please mention Heart Reflections on your post so others can join in. If you don’t have a blog, plug in your conversation through the comments!
Click on What’s on Your Mind ’09 for next week’s theme and host home!
Happy first Monday of 2009! Today, I offer you three great links for better living!
- God and Control! While researching our What’s on Your Mind subject for tomorrow, I came across a great illustration that demonstrates how we are still responsible while our great God remains in control. I hope you participate in our blog carnival this Tuesday with your own post or comments!
- The Wild Goose! My preacher/hubby-man delivered a great sermon this weekend based on the book by Mark Batterson. If you are a reader, get your hands on a copy of this book. If you’d like a taste, without reading, follow the first link to my home church where you can listen to the sermon!
- Organize by Design (for writers only): Click on this link to learn about an interesting and cheap workshop for writers designed to organize your writing. It’s a four week course (online) for $25. Join me!
I’m looking forward to our first official What’s on Your Mind ’09 blog carnival tomorrow – Tuesday! Don’t miss out on all the fun!